The Points Guy Brian Kelly

Earlier this week I spent 2 days learning a ton about Affiliate Marketing at the 2018 Affiliate Summit West event at the Paris Hotel in Las Vegas. More than 6,000 digital marketers from over 70 countries gathered for this premier global event. If you not familiar with affiliate marketing, Wikipedia defines it as is a type of performance-based marketing in which a business rewards one or more affiliates for each visitor or customer brought by the affiliate's own marketing efforts. 

Who is this conference for?

Online publishers, bloggers, traffic sources, retailers, networks, technology firms, digital agencies and other solution providers. 

Here is what you can take away from this event:

  • Three trade show areas packed with affiliates, merchants, vendors, networks, technology providers, digital agencies, traffic sources
  • Multiple tracks of relevant educational sessions delivered by industry experts
  • Networking events
  • Online tools to help you connect with other attendees before, during and after the event - including a downloadable app to help organize your schedule and see other attendees

 

My takeaways from the sessions:

I'm relatively new to affiliate marketing and publishing my own content, so I chose sessions that I felt would give me some helpful tips and recommendations on tools or services that would help me automate and grow revenue for my business. With session time at only 30 minutes, each presentation was roughly 20-25 minutes to allow time for questions and answers. I didn't feel this was enough time for the presenter to get to the meat of the subject - many were rushing through their presentation, some didn't even have one and just talked. There were 3 that really stood out to me as really great resources for more information:

  1. Carolina Millan, Entrepreneur, Speaker, Investor and Digital Marketing Consultant from Chile. Her presentation was Generating Leads and Growing Your Brand With Instagram and it was really thorough. She not only covered some fascinating stats on the growth of Instagram and the demographics of those active on the channel, but gave specific strategies for building a Business page, drafting a profile and tips for researching trending topics and hashtags. Her presentation was full of real examples from her own experiences and I was actively following along on my phone updating my account while she was talking!
  2. Michelle Held, Owner of MetroNY, LLC where she develops marketing strategies for brands and businesses. She runs AskCyberSecurity.com and is a contributor for Entrepreneur.com. While she presented several times, I attended her Ways to Amplify Organic Social Reach session. Michelle is a fast talker but I was able to walk away with some great tips for developing social content, especially for Pinterest, which is more like a search engine than a social network.
  3. Brian Kelly, The Points Guy. Brian gave the Keynote on the last day of the event. I was really excited to see him and hear about his experience since I follow him on Facebook. I never thought of him as an Affiliate Marketer, but more as a publisher, but he really does both, as do I, which is why it was great to hear about his passion for travel and how he uses that to connect every day consumers with information on how to use deals available to all of us so that we can travel like the wealthy do. 

There was time for food and fun

I couldn't let a trip to Las Vegas pass without having a little bit of fun, and that came in the form of eating, drinking and (just a little) gambling. First, there are some really amazing restaurants at Paris Hotel. I had dinner at Martorano's and enjoyed a Caesar Salad and a Risotto dish, and it was outstanding! They served warm Italian bread with a choice of olive oil, and i was starving so this warmed me up the right way. Definitely my best meal of the trip!

There are so many options when it comes to satisfying your sweet tooth. I visited Le Creperie several times at Paris Hotel and enjoyed their coffee and cannolis very much. 

Overall, this was a great trip. I got to visit Las Vegas after a 4 year hiatus, learn some really good tips and tools to help me grow my business, and enjoy a little "me" time in the process. I even got to listen to some really excellent dueling pianists at Napoleon's Lounge with an old friend. Plus bonus night out with my friend Lisa as she traveled in for the CES event. I'm not a big gambler, the thought of handing over money and knowing that I won't get it back makes me ill, however, I did play a really cool new Game of Thrones slot machine and won enough to break even. That's sounds like a winning trip to me.

Cheers Las Vegas, until next time!